So it’s going to be BAU, that’s ‘business as usual’, after all. You’ve seen the terse statement from the Interim Chairman Paul Oakden which was issued about 5.30 p.m. after the NEC had made their decision on the ‘Bolton Affair’. If, as is now common, that communication didn’t reach you, go here.
If this message was designed to calm down the members in the hope that we’ll all go away now and be quiet, then it failed – let me explain why.
Firstly, we get the bare bones:
“Both the committee and the Leader understand the strength of feeling on this coverage and are keen to work collectively in finding a resolution that best protects the future prospects of UKIP.”
That’s nice. The ‘feelings’ of the members are understood and now our leaders will seek a resolution to protect ‘the future prospects of UKIP’. Keenly. Collectively. Why do I associate ‘Polit Bureau’ with that statement ….
Note also that it refers to the ‘press coverage’ – not the actual events which led to said press coverage.
The next paragraph has more weasel words and is an excellent example of obfuscation: time was too short – ‘all the evidence’ couldn’t be discussed – ‘a further investigation’ is now needed.
What, asks the ordinary member, needs to be ‘further’ investigated? Are the tweets published by both the participants in this affair – published well before the bad, lying MSM picked them up – not evidence? Does the NEC now need statements from all involved, in addition to those we’ve already seen in the MSM? Oh, I forgot: the MSM all lie, and there is, of course, much which had to be kept secret – except the affair HB and JM themselves made public on their social media accounts. What are these ‘secrets’ which apparently needed to be kept secret from the NEC and of course from us members? Putting those ‘secrets’ on the table for the NEC – is that what the statement understands to be ‘further investigations’? Is that the ‘new evidence’ which they say they need to find? Why couldn’t this have been put on the NEC table already?
So we will have to wait, for ten days … and then what?
I’m certain that in any case we ordinary members won’t be told. We’ll still have to go with what we get to read in the lying MSM. We’re simply expected to – limp on.
Never mind that our former voters whose votes we need in the coming Local Elections will have read these same stories in the MSM and will throw them at our heads. Instead of talking about important local and national issues (Brexit, anyone?) we’ll have to argue about this affair without knowledge of those ‘secrets’ – good luck with that on the doorsteps!
But there’s more:
“No further comment will be made on this issue by the central party, or any NEC member until that meeting has concluded.”
In other words, ordinary members are expected to stew in the MSM soup while the ‘central party’ (what is that? The management team? The management team plus NEC?) and the NEC have gagged themselves. Nothing will be said; nothing will be let out, especially not to us members.
Note this well, dear friends: we are now all the ‘fringe party’.
That sentence alone shows that nothing at all has changed in the party culture. It is still wedded to the top-down regime, to keeping things secret, to obfuscation, to no transparency, to keeping everything inside ‘the clique’. Now we have a new term for it: ‘central party’. Forgive me if I am the only one who associates this with ‘central committee’, but I can’t help that.
We can now conclude that the ‘central party’ has closed ranks, that the leader is determined to sit this out, and that of course there will be no apology forthcoming. After all, when did any leader of any Politbureau and Central Committee ever deem it necessary to apologise to the ‘fringe party’!
Meanwhile, members are leaving; branches are passing motions of no confidence. That doesn’t seem to concern the ‘central party’. Now they’ve spoken, they simply expect the ‘fringe party’ to be loyal as per usual.
But has the leader, has the ‘central party’ been loyal to us? Well, have they?
A week is a long time in politics – ten days are even longer. And isn’t the central party lucky that the MSM are full of Ms May’s cabinet reshuffle! HB’s affair, for them, is at the moment as newsworthy as a report on the difficulties of the president of an allotment association (apologies to all allotment associations and allotment holders!).
These ten coming days will not be a time of grace. They will be ten days of hell for the duped, distraught, betrayed members who are still left without any closure. This prevarication will not be forgotten or forgiven by the ‘fringe party’!
The leader and the ‘central party’ have a choice: hide behind legalities and lose us, the fringe party, without whom they’d not be ‘central’ of anything, or do the right thing: acknowledge that this latest mess was of the leader’s own creation and that the ‘fringe party’ at the very least deserves an apology. Now!